8 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Dr. Amy Forrer

The holiday season is an exciting time for families.  Despite the celebrations and cheer, it is not uncommon for parents and children to experience stress and anxiety. Dr. Amy Forrer of Emerson Family Medicine at Maynard offers some friendly tips to maintain joy in family gatherings, festive meals, and holiday travel.

  1. First, stay calm. Recognize the triggers for yourself this time of year and do not let them derail your holidays.
  2. Balance is key. Strive to achieve daily balance for you and your family during outside time, together time, and alone time.  Despite cold weather, make sure everyone gets outside at least one hour a day - the more the merrier! Quiet time at home can be rejuvenating for all ages and will help provide a sense of calmness in your home.
  3. Get the kids involved! Use this time to involve your family in household chores, such as cooking, gift wrapping, and preparing the table for a family meal.
  4. Don’t bend the rules. Household rules remain in effect during the holiday season.  Let your children know that the holidays do not provide a free pass for bad behavior.  Continue to use age-appropriate consequences as you would any other time of the year.
  5. Plan ahead. Create your own holiday agenda with new and family traditions that bring your family joy.  Be open to new experiences and let go of traditions that may no longer be enjoyable for your family.
  6. Keep your regular schedule. Maintain your normal routines for sleep, rest, and meals. This will help to avoid the tired, overstimulated, and hungry meltdowns parents know well.
  7. Avoid overindulgence.  Provide your family with a healthy snack prior to attending a holiday party.  Overeating can contribute to additional stress and guilt this time of year.
  8. Practice gratitude. Recognize what you are grateful for in your life and share at least one thing a day with your family.  Sharing a personal gratitude with a child is a wonderful way to connect during a busy holiday season.

Free Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

Emerson Hospital’s Wellness Center is offering a free intro class for our mindfulness-based stress reduction course. Space is limited so RSVP today!

About Dr. Amy Forrer

Dr. Amy Forrer is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics.  She is pleased to share these tips with the community to help families feel calm during this busy season.
To request an appointment for you, your child, or other family members, please visit the Emerson Family Medicine at Maynard home page or call 978-318-1870. Or find a doctor that best fits your need by using Emerson Hospital’s “Find a Doctor,” search tool.